You go to Blue Sky for the muffins. For $2.25, you get your choice of fresh-baked muffins. Pumpkin apple walnut. Zucchini raspberry chocolate. Mango blueberry. Triple berry bran. Pineapple coconut cream cheese. The New York Times describes them as having a ray of sunshine in every bite.
And the list goes on. Nearly every time I visit, they've got a new muffin in the rotation.
Without question, my favorite muffin they offer is the pumpkin muffin filled with chocolate chips and cream cheese. When you order it warm, the cream cheese is still soft, and your teeth sink right through it. The cream cheese is unsweetened, which makes it a perfect contrast to the bits of bittersweet chocolate filling the muffin.
Here's my attempt at recreating their muffin (and giving you the chance to try them if you don't happen to live within walking distance). They're a bit smaller than the true Blue Sky muffins, due to the capacity of my muffin tin, so I couldn't squeeze quite as much cream cheese inside as I would have liked. If your muffin tin is larger, go crazy with the cream cheese. It's hard to have too much.
True to the Blue Sky style, I left my muffins wrapper free. They just look a bit more natural that way.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
recipe adapted from Cheese and Chocolate and inspired by Blue Sky Bakery
This recipe yields 12 to 14 muffins.
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 ounces of cream cheese
Line a small cake pan with plastic wrap. Place the cream cheese on the plastic wrap in spoonfuls and freeze for at least 20 minutes. This helps the cream cheese stay in the proper location in the muffin.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until light colored and thick. Beat in the pumpkin puree and butter until smooth. Mine was filled with small chunks of butter and turned out perfectly. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold together until just combined.
Place a spoonful of batter in the bottom of each muffin tin, spreading it so it covers the bottom completely. Remove the cream cheese from the freezer and place a spoonful of cream cheese on top of the muffin batter. Cover the cream cheese with muffin batter. I filled my muffin tins up to the brim in order to cover the cream cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, baking for 20 more minutes.
Cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. These muffins are best warm or reheated so that the cream cheese filling is soft.